|New Mountain business is a stitch sublime posted on 06/01/2019|
Welches seamstress Anne Balmer’s light-filled home studio is
full of items that stir the imagination. Photos of painstakingly restored
Persian rugs and pre-Columbian textiles, colorfully sewn children’s dress-up
costumes and intricately stitched Victorian-era reproductions bare proof of her
long career in textile design, theatrical costuming and textile conservation.
Anne’s Sewing Service is Balmer’s latest undertaking,
utilizing her thirty-plus years of professional experience to provide custom
alterations, made-to-order home décor, children’s wear and gifts for members of
the Mount Hood communities.
Balmer was born in England and taught to sew by her mother,
a custom dressmaker. She went on to study textile design and honed her sewing
chops working in the costume shop at San Jose Repertory Theatre in California.
“When you work in a costume shop you’ve got to toe the line.
The show must go on,” Balmer said about the skills she learned working for the
Annual visits to England led her to study Victorian-era
historical garments and eventually create the White Swan collection, a
mail-order company featuring Victorian nightgowns and lingerie.
Balmer went on to work in textile restoration for over a
decade in California, restoring and mounting archeological textiles from around
the world, including Pre-Columbian funereal textiles from Peru and Chile,
Flemish tapestries and Persian rugs.
After her career in restoration, Balmer started her own
custom sewing business, which she hopes to continue on the mountain following
her move to the Welches community 18 months ago.
Her sewing service specializes in home décor, including
custom curtains and window treatments, slipcovers, pillows and cushion covers,
bedding and canopies. She also provides alterations, hemming, tailoring and
Balmer recently utilized her experience with textile conservation
restoring a quilt for a customer in Oregon. Her sewing service also currently
offers technical support and expertise hanging textiles and tapestries for home
The focal point of Balmer’s current studio are two
elaborately beaded, princess dress-up gowns intended for her neighbors’ young
daughters. Balmer explained that sewing princess and fairy dress-up costumes
are one of her favorite activities and she delights in creating clothes for
children to wear with imagination.
Her sewing service offers consultation appointments and
gives estimates for all services. Balmer emphasized her desire to work with her
customers and her understanding that “nobody likes surprises” for unexpected
Anne Balmer, and Anne’s Sewing Service, can be reached to
arrange an estimate or discuss a project by email at email@example.com or by
telephone at 831-234-5740.
By Benjamin Simpson/MT